When I got into cycling, I was bombarded with a new lifestyle. My new friends quenched their thirst with liquids I said I'd never imbibe. When they wanted to get going, they'd order up a coffee. When they wanted to stop and relax, they'd down a beer (or 2, or 3..).
My first foray into drinking was after a race weekend down in Kansas City. It was Fred, his daughter, Ryan Legg, Jon Randell, and Megan Hottman. I think those were all who were in attendance. I'm not saying I blacked out or anything, that was just 4 or 5 years ago, so my memory is fuzzy. Anyway, we stopped at a steakhouse (see, I can't remember which one) to refuel and celebrate the weekend. Ryan knew that I was a lightweight, so he used his race winnings and ordered me up a huge Margarita that was REALLY strong. Getting that buzzed was a new experience for me. Everything was quieter and I felt kinda numb. So of course I had to announce this new discovery to everyone. Instead of saying something like, "Wow, the affects of alcohol have dimmed some of my senses," I blurted out, "Hey guys, look, I can't feel my face," as I pulled on my cheek and pushed on my nose. This was apparently quite hilarious to everyone.
I don't think I've gotten that buzzed since then, but I have taken to drinking beer. The main reason younger people drink beer is to get hammered. I never wanted to get past the buzzed sensation, so cheap crappy beer has never been my thing. I do, however, like the taste of a couple dark lagers. Sam Adams Black Lager and New Belgium's 1554 are a couple of my favorites. But at $7-$8 for 6 drinks, I couldn't keep that in my new aggressive debt defeating budget. I tried the $6 Michelob Porter Beer, but that was still $1 per day I was drinking it. By the way, I only drank 1 per day. Two beers just seemed crazy to me.
So I have cut out the beer. I don't really miss it, but I may drink one every now and then for special occasions.
Next up on the chopping block - coffee. I know some of you are gasping right now. "But Mike, how can you give up coffee?" Easy, stop drinking it. Today is the first day of none whatsoever. I'm not feeling it yet, but I've also sipped some Mt. Dew throughout the day. The main reason for giving up coffee is because it's too is expensive and I never really liked the taste. It was something I drank just for the caffeine. I know you can go cheap with Folgers made at home etc, but I'm the only one at home that drinks coffee. So making sure we have filters, going through the process of making it and all that for just me seems a little too much. Plus, I'm lazy and since we meet at coffee shops for our rides, I just order there. So that's at least $1.50 if not $4 as I like the foo-foo drinks. If I didn't depend on the hit of caffeine to get me going, the money and starting from a coffee shop would not be needed.
So if you've been keeping track, I had been spending anywhere from $1 to $6 A DAY on liquids. There's a water faucet down the hall from my desk and my water bill at home is taken care of by the landlord. Why am I spending money on flavored water again??
From here on, I'm cutting out the unnecessary drinks to save money. I don't need it. It's an expenditure of which cutting out will show great returns. Like I said before, I may, occasionally enjoy a brew for a celebration, or have a coffee if I go out to a big family breakfast, but the daily consumption must stop. If I ever really want to get out of debt and get on with life, I have to strip my budget of frivolous spending.
Ok, now that the declaration has been made, let's discuss the weekend. 3 day weekend!! WOO HOO!! The wife is going on a trip early Friday AM so I took that day off to take her to the airport. I'll probably finish up some bike work that needs to be done the rest of the day, then head over to Randells house to help him setup a home network. YAY New toys to play with!!
So that's pretty much Friday. Saturday is completely up in the air. I do need to come up with some sort of costume for a Halloween party I'm attending Saturday night, but other than that, I'm free if anyone would like to head out for a ride.
Sunday, I need to be home around noon so I can pick the wife up from the airport. So an early morning ride would be best. Right now, it's looking to be around 37 degrees with a below 10 mph South wind at daybreak. Daybreak being 8am. If we want to meet somewhere at 9am and get a few hours in, that would be awesome. If you have rights to post on this blog and want to suggest something, post away. My cold turkey haze induced run-on could stand to be shuffled down the list...